Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What ever happend to...?

Okay, so I've come across the best website ever! It's called What Ever Happened To...? You can look up people who starred in shows you watched as a kid, like Dirk Benedict (of Battlestar Galactica and A-Team fame) as well as Punky Brewster and those kids from the Wonder Years.

And oh yeah, what ever happened to athlete Bo Jackson, or that other guy in Wham, or that kid that got caned in Singapore in 1994, what was his name?? Look up these and many others. Their fifteen minutes of fame becomes your fifteen minutes of pointless curiosity.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Is time a fiction?

Newton introduced time as a mathematical quantity t against which we can measure the motion of things. I similarly treat time as a parameter with which to measure the change of a system, e.g., the motion of a spaceship, or the change in the weather. In fact, our notions of "change" are almost inseparable from "change as time goes by". But time may not be something objective "out there" in the real world... It may simply be a convenient tool for measurements and theories.

I think I perceive change in time, but is my internal clock the same ar yours? or someone's on a planet in a far away galaxy?

Is time a fiction? Or is it as real as, say, the three-dimensional space inside the room in which I sit? Or is space a fiction too? For that matter, may as well throw out "I".

Monday, November 21, 2005

How it is that things exist at all

In a secular world that is suffering from what has been called “metaphysical boredom," atheism is decidedly on the wane. Writing in the New Criterion, David Hart says, "As for why this should be, it is surely not enough to say merely that atheism fails to divert our thoughts from our mortality as religion supposedly used to do; television does that much better." It's more likely that people are realizing theism proves to be the only honest choice to make, given all we know in this supposedly enlightened information age. Or at least, theism isn't the escape from deep thought some would like to portray it as. Quite the contrary.

Religion, far from suppressing the vitality of human reason and will, opens up a dimension of greater rational consciousness. Faith is not a refuge against reason, it expands the scope and imagination of human reason, stretching reason to its very edge, to the edge of reality itself.

Existence. Since I was a young child, I was fascinated by the concept of, and even the word, "existence". The question of why we are here, or why anything is here, or let's say, the question of the "transcendent source of reality", I believe to be a question of existence, not a question of "first causes". The real question is not how things have come to be what they are, but how it is that things exist at all.

Even if physics can trace all of time and space back to a single self-sufficient set of laws, that those laws exist at all must remain an imponderable problem for all those who believe in the material world and nothing more.

The answer to how it is that things exist at all may be related to a God, who gave as one of his names "I AM", the subsistent act of being. At a very basic level, God exists. Of course he does more than just exist. But it's important that he does. Because his existence is tangled up with ours, our existence is dependent on his, for he provides the ground undergirding all existence.

It kind of blows my mind to think about existence... I hit a brick wall when I start thinking, "What if the universe was different?" or "What is it like in other universes?" because I believe this is the universe. Ponder it enough and it might make you go mad and head off into the woods for forty days and nights.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Travis & Trish's Wedding

Here's some pictures from Travis and Trish's wedding on October 29, 2005. The wedding get-away was on his and hers bikes with cans attached to the back. The pictures were taken by Truong. I'll try to upload some from Tim and Cailin's wedding (Nov 5, 2005) later.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Korea and France

Recently I was told about some Korean, and some French articles on my work regarding how chemistry and dynamical astronomy share a common math language. Unfortunately, the earth doesn't share the same language, so I don't know what they're saying! Perhaps Stephen can read the Korean.

As for the French, USC sounds so much more romantic when you call it l’Université de Californie du Sud.

Interestingly, the French articles don't mention Henri Poincare, the French mathematician who invented chaos theory while studying the three-body problem a century ago. His contributions to our understanding of the universe, and his reputation as the "last universalist," were the inspiration of my work!

Monday, November 07, 2005


Okay..., some of you are teachers, public workers, know about prescription drug programs, live on a budget, or use electricity, so let me know what's up. And of course I'm sure you're all experts in complicated legal proposals. I'm likely to vote as follows. Question marks denote level of uncertainty.

  • Prop 74: Extend teacher tenure from 2 to 5 years: NO
  • Prop 75: Choice in using union dues for political purposes: YES
  • Prop 76: Change the way the budget is executed: NO?
  • Prop 77: Re-districting by judges: YES?
  • Prop 78: Prescription drug program modeled after one in Ohio: NO?
  • Prop 79: Prescription drug program modeled after one in Maine: YES?
  • Prop 80: Another regulation of the electricity industry: NO??

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nipping them in the bud

“Happy children don’t grow up to build concentration camps, Dr. Henry Morgentaler told a University of Western Ontario convocation yesterday, as he argued that abortion has helped radically reduce hate and violent crime in Canada,” reports the Toronto Star. Morgentaler is Canada’s foremost champion of the unlimited abortion license.

While he is all for nipping in the bud, so to speak, the potentially hateful and violent, Morgentaler says he is not an advocate of eugenics. The reduction in crime is “an unintended, if happy, consequence” of choices made by women, he says. Rosie DiManno, a Star columnist, says she is for “the absolute right to reproductive freedom,” but is uncomfortable with Morgentaler’s argument. “Abortion as social corrective that’s spared us a bunch of felonious misfits is offensive. Let’s not go there, Dr. Morgentaler,” she writes.

Sorry, ma'am, you're already there.

Sources: Toronto Star, First Things